For a business to operate at ‘Internet speed’ and to thrive in an age of Internet Connectedness, you need to be able to evolve quicker than your competitors. We’re living in a world where a single search engine is able to service the need for “Internet Search” on a world-wide scale - we truly are living in a time of great opportunity.
Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Uber and AirBnB all have one thing in common, one core lesson we can all learn: Software drives every aspect of their business.
The old adage of a successful business being about product, pricing and placement supported by an awesome customer experience still rings true. Customer expectations however are forever rising, and meeting those expectations needs a new kind of business mindset that embraces software.
Software that enables scalability is key to businesses wishing to operate at Internet Speed
In order to best leverage software that enables scalability, businesses need to:
- Foster a culture of continual improvement in every department.
- Understand that scalability is no longer limited by geography, but by efficiency.
- Embrace the idea of software as a fundamental aspect of your business operations.
Software no longer belongs solely to the IT Department, it is an essential part of every aspect of your business. Software is also more than merely a tool with which to execute your operations.
Why? Software is what enables you to respond to your customer’s needs; it enables you to scale your operations efficiently and perform at the peak of possibility. It allows you to offer personalised, always on-time, high quality customer service - all at scale.
Read it again: all at scale. And it’s the ‘all at scale’ part that is the key.
Without effective software, your business will struggle to scale in the modern era.
1. Foster a culture of continual improvement in every department
The truth is that software is used in every department - from diagnostics to finance (and everything in between). And, over time, has become more and more fundamental to the success of each of those departments.
Growth-driven software and its capabilities are continually evolving and to best leverage those improvements, department heads need to embrace and understand what software is capable of and how it can directly benefit their department. This requires that business leaders foster a culture of every-department software innovation.
The key to a successful software strategy is for every department head to:
- Understand their processes, requirements, needs and goals
- To engage in strategy sessions, alongside one-another
- To have a better understanding of what software is capable of
- Not to feel intimidated by ‘software’, but rather to embrace their own level of understanding of their department’s functions and processes, so they can best define their software requirements themselves, to best benefit from the outcome
- To not feel limited by the traditional ‘boxes’ of their department’s responsibilities
- To be involved in iterations (from beta to production) of the software development process and contribute to refining requirements in conjunction with a software partner to get the best solution
The best solutions are built when the relevant business person works closely with the software developer to create something that ACTUALLY WORKS.
2. Understand that scalability is no longer limited by geography, but by efficiency
The hunt for true scalability tends to bring out true efficiency in businesses. It’s only when scalability is a focus that businesses really (really) evaluate their operational processes with a critical eye.
This is when true innovation occurs - when trying to come up with a much better way of achieving even better results. "Necessity is the mother of invention" has never rung truer.
By focusing on scalability you’re focusing on efficiency - and by focusing on efficiency your responsiveness and business agility automatically improves. A win-win.
3. Embrace the idea of software as a fundamental aspect of your business operations
Gone are the days where you could embark on a ‘once-every-five-years’ software development project.
Those ‘single deployment’ projects are:
- Time-consuming and
- Go ‘out of date’ very quickly.
With so much riding on this investment, you need to make sure you create a partnership with a growth-driven developer. That is, a developer who continues to grow and evolve their software based on changes in the market, technological advancements and learning curves.
In order to improve your operations on a daily basis you need to invest in your operations on a daily basis - this is an operating cost.
You don’t have a static business - so why would you want a static software solution?
The only way to ensure this continued evolution is to partner with a developer that understands YOUR business and to embrace the idea of software as an operating cost.
It’s important to remember that not all software is created equal. Investing in software is about creating a responsive business in an Internet Era.
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